Loudoun School for Advanced Studies in Ashburn, Virginia will begin its 13th academic year on August 27, offering five-day, in-person learning to all enrolled students. Classes will also be offered virtually, to accommodate students and faculty who are not well or are uncomfortable with in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September 2019, our school opened the doors of our brand-new campus in Ashburn. Our state-of-the-art facility boasts 16,000 square feet of instruction space and is historic in its location next to the Ashburn Colored School, which was also renovated and integrated into our campus during the construction process. We currently have 70 students enrolled for the fall, with room to socially-distance only a few more children in each grade. Currently, our school offers a 4:1 student/faculty ratio, and a 3:1 student/adult ratio.
“We have an optimized building and the ability to serve the right number of students,” said Sylvia Israel, who begins her third year as Head of School. “We have a solid plan in place, and our program will be flexible throughout the unknowns of the upcoming school year. Students can learn online or come into school when they feel comfortable and healthy. They won’t miss a thing, as all in-person classes will also be broadcast via Zoom each day.”
Keeping our students and faculty safe during the COVID-19 pandemic is our number one priority this school year. Therefore, we have instituted many positive changes, including the installation of a hospital grade UV-C air disinfection system (that kills 99 percent of viral pathogens); video conferencing capabilities in all classrooms and meeting spaces; single person restrooms throughout the school, and operable windows in all classrooms and common areas.
Additionally, we are requiring daily health screenings and face coverings for all teachers and students and will offer improved sanitizing practices. We will also stagger lunches and student travel times throughout the hallways. As long as the weather is favorable, students will have the option to eat their homemade lunches outside. Israel also said that the administration will closely monitor infection rates as the school year progresses, and will stay flexible and ready to pivot to 100 percent online instruction at any time.
“As a small, independent school, Loudoun School for Advanced Studies has the unique ability to react quickly to the needs of our students and their families,” Israel said. “Because we’re small, we can adapt rapidly to a changing environment; easily maintain the lines of communication among students, teachers and parents; and keep our routines relatively consistent – even in the most changeable of times.”
Through it all, Israel noted that the pandemic has given her staff a unique opportunity to teach students that “life doesn’t always happen the way we expect it will” and encourage them to “take as much good from this situation as possible.” These truths will definitely guide the students and staff during what is sure to be an extraordinary school year.
Founded in 2008 by Deep Sran - a technology entrepreneur and attorney, with a Ph.D. in Education - Loudoun School for Advanced Studies seeks to offer children in grades 6-12 a rich, rigorous and flexible curriculum that encourages critical and creative thinking developed both in and outside of the classroom. Structured like a graduate school, classes are kept small to encourage intense student/teacher engagement. Most teachers have master’s or doctoral degrees, and are accomplished members of industry.
As a mother of four, Ms. Israel has a passion for helping families find the right school environment for their children. She would welcome the opportunity to speak with you about our school’s unique offerings and learn more about your child’s distinct academic needs. For more information, please visit our website at www.loudounschool.org, or email Mrs. Israel at [email protected] or [email protected]